Flooding Won’t Stop In Chennai, India

By  | 
Beautiful scenic view of sacred city Kanchipuram (Kanchi) with colorful traditional houses, gopura of Hindu Temple and bright foliage reflected at calm lake waters, Tamil Nadu, South India

Image: Shutterstock/Natalia Davidovich

Flooding Won’t Stop In Chennai, India’s Fourth Largest City

Thousands are fleeing as the flooding won’t stop in Chennai, India. The city hasn’t experience such bad rain since one hundred years prior, and the worsening rain has brought the death toll to more than 280 people. Chennai, which is a low-lying coastal city, is India’s fourth largest city at about six million people.

Though forecasts predict even more rain, it’s the flooding lakes and rivers that are more of a concern now. Thirty lakes continue to overflow into four districts.

Chennai floods December 2015

Image: Wikicommons/Destination8infinity

Community members are upset over the lack of warning that such drastic rain was coming and that it would create this scale of destruction. There was no warning when the first nearby lake began flooding, which gave residents hardly any time to evacuate. By the time there was enough communication, most cars had already sunk. As an enormous amount of people took residence on rooftops, military helicopters dropped food. Drinking water is in short supply. Resources are limited and people are in desperate need of relief. In a city of six million, this is causing an enormous dilemma. In fact, three million people are cut off from basic services.

Chennai airport has shut down, limiting even more transportation in and out of the city. Rescue teams feel helpless as they have supplies and people to help, but they are scarce in number of boats. This means many are anxious to help but unable to reach those in need.

Chennai flood December 2015

Image: Shutterstock/Vijayingarsal

Chennai is recognized for being a big player in the car industry and for its IT outsourcing. Many IT companies shut down temporarily as the flooding continues.

Unfortunately for the community of Chennai, there may be more to blame than the weather. The city has focused little attention on flood prevention, even after warnings of problems like this one arising. Though the many lakes had potential ways of natural draining, no regulations were put in place to make these drains possible. Bridges and buildings were built over these routes, causing the drains to get blocked.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.15.48 AM

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of, and the lifestyle editor at When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *